Dr. Doria Gordon is a lead senior scientist, with a focus on ecosystems, in the Office of the Chief Scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Prior to EDF, she spent 25 years working in science, conservation, and management for The Nature Conservancy in Florida. Dr. Gordon is also a courtesy professor of biology at the University of Florida and a research associate at Archbold Biological Station near Lake Placid, Florida. She has conducted substantial research on the restoration of forested ecosystems, from blue oak woodlands in California to longleaf pine systems in Florida. She has also developed and evaluated risk-assessment tools for predicting invasiveness in plant species and has co-authored two chapters in a U.S. Forest Service assessment of invasion and forest health (in preparation). Most recently Dr. Gordon has been reviewing the literature on biotechnology and gene editing to evaluate whether environmental risks are sufficiently addressed in existing approaches and regulations. Dr. Gordon completed an M.S. and Ph.D. in ecology at the University of California, Davis, following an undergraduate degree in biology and environmental studies at Oberlin College.
Dr. Inés Ibáñez is an associate professor in the School of Natural Resources and Environment Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Ibáñez's major research interests focus on the current challenges that plant communities are facing in the context of global change, that is, climate change, invasive species, and landscape fragmentation. She directs her research at the recruitment of dominant tree species, from seed production to the sapling stage, including seed dispersal, germination, establishment and survival during the first years. She received her B.S. in biology (botany) from Universidad Complutense de Madrid, an M.S. in range sciences from Utah State University, and a Ph.D. in ecology from Duke University.
Gregory Jaffe is the director of the Project on Biotechnology for the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). Mr. Jaffe came to CSPI after serving as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice's Environmental and Natural Resources Division and as senior counsel with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Enforcement Division. He is a recognized international expert on agricultural biotechnology and biosafety and has published numerous articles and reports on those topics. He has worked on biosafety regulatory issues in the United States and throughout the world, including the African countries of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mali, Ghana, Malawi, South Africa, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria. He was a member of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture's Advisory Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture from 2003 to 2008 and was reappointed to a new term from 2011 to 2016. He was also a member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee from 2004 to 2008. In addition, he has provided his biosafety expertise for projects involving the International Food Policy Research Institute, the World Bank, and the Biosafety Project of the UN Environment Programme–Global Environment Facility. Mr. Jaffe earned his B.A. with high honors from Wesleyan University in biology and government and then received a law degree from Harvard Law School.
Mark D. Needham
Dr. Mark Needham is a professor in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University (OSU); an adjunct professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at OSU; and an adjunct and affiliate professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Hawaii. He is a social scientist who focuses on understanding human experiences and behavior within the context of nature and uses this to inform land management and advance scientific thought. Dr. Needham’s most recent work on forest-related issues includes studies of public attitudes toward using biotechnological (e.g., genetic modification) and nonbiotechnological (e.g., tree breeding, assisted migration) interventions to address forest health threats (e.g., diseases such as chestnut blight, pests such as pine beetle, climate change). He is also working on a study of public tradeoffs of ecosystem services associated with aerial herbicide spraying and other intensive management practices on private forestlands. He is editor-in-chief of the international journal Human Dimensions of Wildlife and director of the Natural Resources, Tourism, and Recreation (NATURE) Studies Lab at OSU. Dr. Needham received The Academy of Leisure Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award for 2016, Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society Graduate Students’ Award for Outstanding Faculty for 2013, College of Forestry Dean's Award for Outstanding Teaching and Advising Professor for 2009, and the College of Forestry Dean's Award for Outstanding Research Professor for 2007. He received his B.A. and M.A. in geography and environmental studies from the University of Victoria in Canada and his Ph.D. in human dimensions of natural resources from Colorado State University.
Dr. Clare Palmer is a professor of philosophy and a Cornerstone faculty fellow at Texas A&M University. She was awarded a B.A. with honors from Trinity College, Oxford, and a Ph.D. from The Queen’s College, Oxford, and has since held academic positions at universities in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States. Her primary areas of research are environmental ethics, animal ethics, and the ethics of emerging technologies, in particular ethical questions raised by the use of biotechnology for conservation goals. She held the elected position of President of the International Society for Environmental Ethics from 2007 to 2010 and currently serves on the editorial board of interdisciplinary journals including Environmental Values, the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, and Environmental Humanities. She is the author or co-author of four books, including Animal Ethics in Context (Columbia University Press, 2010) and has edited or co-edited seven other volumes, including in 2014 Linking Ecology and Ethics for a Changing World, a collaboration between philosophers and ecologists. She has more than 100 other publications. She was the founding editor of the journal Worldviews: Environment, Culture, Religion (Brill Academic Press), and was co-PI on the National Science Foundation-funded project Genomics and Society from 2012 to 2016.
Dr. Jeanne Romero-Severson is a professor of quantitative genetics and genomics at the University of Notre Dame. She studies the population genetics and genomics of adaptive variation for stress resistance in temperate forest trees and insects, including insect vectors of human disease. In her first career in the private sector, she identified genetic determinants of regenerative capacity from tissue culture, resistance to two major potyviruses, and resistance to European corn borer in maize. She led the final effort to produce agronomically acceptable maize inbreds from the first successful Bt transformant in maize. In her academic career, she has contributed to the whole genome sequencing projects for the jewel wasp, a parasite of flies, and the human body louse. Her specialization in statistical genetics and genetic mapping in nonmodel organisms led to the identification of genetic determinants for salt water tolerance in sibling species of Anopheles (malaria vector) mosquitoes. Her group generated the first genetic map for northern red oak, identified the extent of natural hybridization between the native nut tree butternut with Japanese heartnut, identified genetically unique populations of butternut in Atlantic Canada, discovered that the rate of regeneration in northern red oak influences estimates of population differentiation, and generated full sib resource populations for black walnut and northern red oak. Dr. Romero-Severson is currently working on identifying genetic determinants of emerald ash borer resistance in green ash and the functional genomics of multifactor artemisinin resistance in the malaria parasite. She is a member of the governing board of the American Chestnut Foundation, the governing board of the Northern Nut Growers Association, and the advisory group for the Center for Tree Science at the Morton Arboretum. She is also a member of the American Society of Plant Biologists, the Society of American Foresters, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Romero-Severson is the author or co-author of more than 70 refereed publications. She holds two issued patents and one provisional patent involving plant breeding and analytical chemistry. She received her B.S. in molecular biology and Ph.D. in plant breeding and plant genetics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Ronald R. Sederoff
Dr. Ronald Sederoff was a distinguished university professor of forestry, Edwin F. Conger Professor of Forestry and Environmental Resources, and co-director of the Forest Biotechnology Group at North Carolina State Universtiy. After a stint as a U.S. Forest Service scientist in California, he joined NC State’s forestry and environmental resources department in 1987. Dr. Sederoff, one of the first scientists to study molecular genetics of forest trees, established the Forest Biotechnology Group at NC State in 1988. His work focuses on gaining a better understanding of forest tree biology and using that knowledge to accelerate tree breeding. In 1995, Sederoff was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the International Academy of Wood Science. In 2004, he received an honorary doctorate in forest science from the Swedish Agricultural University. He was named the Institute of Forest Biotechnology’s 2011 Forest Biotechnologist of the Year, and in 2017 he was awarded the Marcus Wallenberg Foundation Prize, an international award for scientific achievements in fields important to forestry. He received his B.S. in zoology and M.S. and Ph.D. in zoology genetics from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Diana L. Six
Dr. Diana L. Six is a professor of forest entomology/pathology in the Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences in the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana. Her primary research focuses on the evolution and maintenance of symbioses, particularly those occurring among bark beetles, ambrosia beetles, and fungi. This work includes collaborative efforts with scientists in the United States, South Africa, Sweden, and Mexico. Dr. Six also conducts research on various aspects of bark beetle ecology and management, including investigations into how bark beetles may affect the ability of forests to adapt to climate change. She is an associate editor for the journals Insects, Journal of Economic Entomology, and Agricultural and Forest Entomology. Dr. Six is a member of several scientific societies including the Entomological Society of America and the International Symbiosis Society. She received her B.S. in agricultural biology from California State Polytechnic University and M.S. and Ph.D. in entomology from the University of California, Riverside.